It’s easy to see why ClayPaws® kits are some of our most popular items: they’re a great way to make a unique memento for clients, whether they want to remember a lost pet or commemorate a new member of their family. This guide will help you get the results you want from these pawprint impression supplies.
Step 1: Selecting the Right Mold and Number of Kits
ClayPaws® molds are color-coded to show
how much clay they can hold: maroon molds are for one kit and green for two
kits. A one kit mold has enough space for the paw print of a cat or small dog,
while a two-kit mold has enough space for the paw print of a large dog. Molds
include a Patty Pad, which supports the back side of the clay to get a flat
Step 2: Setting Up the Clay
The clay will be soft out of the package, but it needs to be worked before it will take on prints. Do not heat the clay, as even a small increase in temperature will prematurely bake it. Place mold on a hard surface like a counter top or Patty Pad. Roll the clay into a ball and push it into the mold.
Step 3: Making a Paw Impression
Press the center of the paw into the clay, followed by each toe pad and finally each nail. In most cases, you’ll want the paw to be closer to the bottom of the clay to allow more space for decorations.
Step 4: Decorating
You can use anything to adorn the clay as long as it will withstand baking temperatures. Glass ornaments will work, but plastic may melt. Don’t paint the clay until after is has been baked.
If you’re making a hanging ornament, be sure to poke a pair of holes through the clay near the top for a ribbon or wire.
Remove the clay from the form, set it on an un-greased baking pan, and bake the clay in an oven for 20 minutes at 275°F. Once the clay is finished, remove it from the oven immediately.
Once the ornament is baked, it may stick to the pan: let it cool, then push on it with a spatula until it pops off. You can also lay down a sheet of parchment paper on the pan, but be aware that the clay will slide around easily when you’re putting it in the oven.
Painting and Glazing
After baking, the ornament is ready to display, but you can add some additional color by applying either water-based acrylic paints or polymer glazes. If you try to use both, they may not dry, leaving the surface sticky. Aerosol paints, sealants, non-polymer glazes and oil-based paints will also remain tacky if applied to the ornament.
Hair and dirt will stick to the clay until it’s baked. Make sure the animal and the hands of anyone helping is as clean as possible.
ClayPaws® Soft White is a new formulation that doesn’t just look different, it’s also softer and easier to kneed than the Original White Clay. This makes it a great choice if you’re taking the paw print from a living animal, but more care needs to be taken when stamping symbols, number and letters into the clay. If you want a different look, we also offer Almond Shimmer and Terra Cotta clays.
Once you make the paw imprint, you can let the pet owners finish the process at home. ClayPaws® includes a sticker so you can mark the clay “unbaked” as well as an information sheet with everything they need to know about decorating and baking the clay. If you need to add a note, make sure it is stored separate from the clay: ink can transfer to the unbaked clay’s surface. Shipping an unbaked kit is not recommended, as even a slight bump will leave an imprint.
The clay needs to be baked within 30 days of opening the package. If the clay is left to air dry, it will dry out unevenly and crack.
Once the kit is complete, it needs to be kept inside. Outdoor exposure may cause the paint to fade and the clay to crack.
When You’re Looking for Ways to Improve Your Clinic Experience, Visit Positive Impressions
Positive Impressions, LLC offers a wide range of items that can help you build a stronger relationship with your clients. Looking for a way to memorialize your patients? We offer ClayPaws® kits, molds and accessories including stamps and molds, as well as sympathy cards and memorial seed packs for remembering lost pets. We also offer a range of custom products including veterinary reminder cards, prescription labels, and birthday cards. Stop by our website to see the latest specials!